Cart 0

Guest Post: Conquering fear in one easy (cold) call

Posted by Colleen Wainwright on

As she herself admits, Judith Reppucci should be a killer cold caller. She’s a successful marketing copywriter with 15 years’ experience in old-school, pound-the-pavement sales–for the Yellow Pages! So, fearless, right? No problem, right?

Well, the following account just proves that no one may be immune to fears about cold calling. And also that there is a way out, and it just might be Ilise & Peleg’s no-nonsense, low-key approach to cold calls. Listen to Judith’s experience of putting the information and inspiration she found in the Designer’s Guide to Marketing & Pricing Podcast into action—serious action!

Six months ago, I met an mailing house exec at a New England Direct Marketer’s networking event. When she heard that I specialized in direct mail fundraising copy, she told me to call her coworker in the nonprofit side of their business. “They might be looking for some help,” she said. She even gave me the extension number, and told me to say she asked me to call.

Really, could there possibly be a better warm lead?

I have a folder of cold calling advice. I’ve read a half dozen books on how to cold-call. I’ve even been videotaped for cold call critiques. No matter. I was still stuck, mired in the fear that my value proposition wasn’t good enough, and that I’d get nervous and fumble (it’s happened before). I’m beyond ashamed that I’m such a big old wuss.

Then, a few weeks ago, while I was recovering from surgery, I started listening to your wonderful and very generous podcasts (thanks, Peleg, you’re great,too.) And, just listening to your casual, low-key delivery has made all the difference. Gee, you mean, you really don’t have to dial with all your marketing guns blazing? You don’t have to reel off a phony sales spiel when you‘re transferred to voice mail? And you can actually act, hmmm, natural and even genuine?

Yesterday I listened to Marketing Mentor podcast number six, the one with cold call role plays. “I can do that,” I told myself.

And guess what?

I did!

In fact, I just hung up from a great phone call with that prospect I’ve been avoiding.

When I gave the name of my referral at NEDMA, the prospect said, “Oh, sure.”

When I told him what I did and who I’ve worked for he said, “Oh, if you work for them, I guess you do a lot of hospital work.”

When I asked if he uses outside copywriters, he responded, “Not right now, but we’re expanding to more cause based clients, so this call might be coming at a good time for the fall appeals.”

And the rest of the call continued like something out of a cold call success story. Yes, indeed, he agreed it would be a good idea for me to send him a package of my work and my business card. Yes, he’d like it if I stayed in touch – and he readily gave me his e-mail. Yes, in fact, he wanted me to give him a call later this summer.

I’ve got to wrap this up because I have to send off my e-mail follow-up (gotta do it within 30 minutes, right?), but thanks again for all the easy-to-follow advice on the podcasts.

Oh—and speaking of podcasts, as a result of listening to yours, I’ve already ordered The Designer’s Guide to Marketing and Pricing. It’s very clear that you have great advice for copywriters, too!

Judith Reppucci is an independent copywriter, and she lives on beautiful Cape Cod. She crafts fundraising appeals for direct marketing consultants and nonprofit organizations. She also writes marketing collateral and online material for business and healthcare organizations. You can reach her at judith AT reppucci DOT com or at her website.


Have you learned anything from the Designer’s Guide podcasts (not just for designers anymore!) you’ve already put to use? Got a great story, flash of insight or other fantastic tidbit to share with the class? Email me (colleen AT marketing-mentor DOT com) and maybe we can help make everyone a little bit smarter.

  • More in: Cold Calling, Guest Mixers, Inspiring stories, Posts by Colleen, Success Stories

  • Share this post

    We also recommend for you...

    ← Older Post Newer Post →